Tropical perennial Bougainvillea thrives in USDA zones 9b through 11. There are many varieties of Bougainvillea that can be grown as a bush, tree, or vine, and they all produce beautiful blooms in a variety of hues. However, how can you propagate bougainvillea seed and cuttings? If you’re interested in learning about the various ways you can propagate bougainvillea, keep reading. When and How to Grow Bougainvillea Cuttings are the most popular method of propagating Bougainvillea plants, however they can also be grown from seed. Planting Bougainvillea Cuttings and Growing Them Cuttings are the simplest way to propagate bougainvillea.
You can do it whenever you want. Look for softwood in your bougainvillea if you want to take a cutting. There’s nothing particularly novel about this section of the plant, but it’s also not established and too woody. Cut a 4 to 5 inch (10-13 cm.) long piece of softwood with 4 to 6 nodes. The nodes on a branch are the locations where new branches have emerged or where buds are forming. A root hormone dip is an option if you choose. A cutting should be placed upright in a mixture of one part perlite and one part peat, removing any leaves. Sink it about 2.5 to 5 centimeters (2.5 to 2 inches) into the soil. Keep the pot on a high heat setting.
Spray and water your cutting as needed, but avoid getting it sopping wet. It should start growing into a new plant in a few months once it takes root. Taking Bougainvillea Seeds and Growing Them The seed propagation of bougainvillea is less popular, yet it is still a viable option. Your bougainvillea’s little white flower in the middle may generate seed pods in the autumn. These pods should be harvested and dried, as they should contain extremely small seeds. So long as they’re kept warm, you can plant seeds at any time of year. As germination might take up to a month, be patient.
How to Propagate Bougainvillea?
Bougainvillea plants can be produced from seed as well as cuttings.
Propagation of Bougainvillea Cuttings
Cuttings are the simplest way to propagate bougainvillea. You can do it whenever you want. Look for softwood in your bougainvillea if you want to take a cutting. There’s nothing particularly novel about this section of the plant, but it’s also not established and too woody. Cut a 4 to 5 inch (10-13 cm.) long piece of softwood with 4 to 6 nodes. The nodes on a branch are the locations where new branches have emerged or where buds are forming.
A root hormone dip is an option if you choose. A cutting should be placed upright in a mixture of one part perlite and one part peat, removing any leaves. Sink it about 2.5 to 5 centimeters (2.5 to 2 inches) into the soil. Keep the pot on a high heat setting. Spray and water your cutting as needed, but avoid getting it sopping wet. It should start growing into a new plant in a few months once it takes root.
Propagating Bougainvillea Seeds
The seed propagation of bougainvillea is less popular, yet it is still a viable option. Your bougainvillea’s little white flower in the middle may generate seed pods in the autumn. These pods should be harvested and dried, as they should contain extremely small seeds. So long as they’re kept warm, you can plant seeds at any time of year. As germination might take up to a month, be patient.
Cut a mature stem to a length of 6–8 inches (15–20 cm)
Pruning shears can be used to snip the lower portion of the stem at a 45-degree angle with ease. Only use cuttings that are disease-free or free of pests. In order for the plant to absorb more water and nutrients from the soil, cut the stem at an angle.
- To ensure a healthy plant, the cutting should have at least seven nodes.
- Gardening gloves and eye protection are essential when snipping, so don’t cut without them.
- Instead of using young, green sections, use semi-ripe or woody portions for your cuts.
- Late spring to mid-summer is the finest time of year to harvest cuttings from bougainvillea.
- It might be difficult to get bougainvillea to root. If your initial attempt fails, you may want to take multiple cuttings to offer yourself a second chance. No harm will come to the plant if you remove up to one-third of the plant’s growth.
- Before and after you make a cut, disinfect your gardening equipment with rubbing alcohol.
Prune the leaves from the stem
Only the stem of the bougainvillea is capable of taking root. You should remove all flowering parts and little branches from the narrow stem. Remove any portions that are still green before planting because they are less likely to thrive.
- The stem should be stripped of at least half of its leaves before cutting it in two. In this way, the plant’s resources can be better utilized in the formation of new roots.
- A wet paper towel and an airtight plastic bag can keep your bougainvillea cuttings fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For a period of 1-2 weeks, they will not be exposed to air because of this.
Dip the cut end in rooting hormone.
Wet the bottom of the stem and press it into a jar of powdered rooting hormone, then allow it to dry. Make sure the underside is well-coated, but be careful to avoid clumping or caking. Tap the stem gently with your fingertip to remove any extra powder.
- Most large gardening centers, greenhouses, and plant nurseries have rooting hormone. Rooting acid is another name for it.
- Try producing your own rooting hormone at home using substances like as apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and honey.
Fill a small container with well-drained soil.
Propagating plants from seeds and cuttings is best done in a special growing medium. Compost, sand, and commercial potting soil are all acceptable substitutes. Allow around 14 inch (0.64 cm) of room at the top of the container for watering purposes.
- Drainage can be improved by adding 13 of the following: perlite, vermiculite, or horticulture grit to the packaged soil mix.
- Using a pot as little as 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) would suffice for the time it takes for your bougainvillea to take root.
Insert the cutting into the soil.
For a well-anchored stem, place it 1.5–2 inches (3.8–5.1 cm) below soil level. Open a narrow hole first with a pencil or similar instrument if you’re working with a more dense soil combination and are concerned about injuring the stem.
- Using a little slant to plant the stem may encourage more of the current nodes to develop roots.
- Only one cutting should be used per pot in order to ensure adequate growing space and avoid competition.
Water the newly planted cutting thoroughly.
Use just enough water to dampen the soil’s surface without letting it get sodden. After watering, leave the cutting alone. A healthy beverage will encourage it to start laying down roots again.
- Your bougainvillea cutting should not be overwatered. The rooting process may be slowed or even halted by excessive wetness, which can lead to more serious problems like rot or fungal disease.
Cover the potted cutting with a plastic bag.
Humidity can be trapped in the surrounding layer of plastic, which will create a micro greenhouse effect. The plant will begin to grow on its own in a matter of weeks thanks to the abundance of moisture. Once it’s protected, store the cutting in a cool, shaded location in your house out of the path of direct sunshine or heat.
- If you can, close the bag with a tie or a zipper. Otherwise, you may just drape the plastic cover over the top of the pot and secure the bottom.
- Cloche or coldframes can also be used, but they’re not necessary.
Look for the cutting to begin sprouting within 6-10 weeks.
When little green leaves appear along the stem of your bougainvillea cutting, you know it has taken root. The plant should not be disturbed in any way while the bag is in place. The rooting procedure could be hampered as a result.
- In most circumstances, it’s advisable to wait until the stem is dotted with multiple offshoots before attempting to remove it.
Preparing Developing Plants for a Container or Garden
Allow the cutting to continue rooting until 4-6 leaves have appeared
Depending on the status of the cutting and the specifics of your soil, this could take anywhere from three months to six months. The stem can be put in a larger pot or transplanted to your garden once it starts growing leaf again. The cutting doesn’t need to be watered like a seedling because the roots haven’t yet formed.
Introduce the rooted cutting to full sunlight gradually
A “hardening-off” period of at least two weeks is recommended by most experienced gardeners. Move the plant every 5-7 days to an area with more direct sunshine. By gradually acclimating to its new surroundings, it increases its chances of survival and adaptation.
Before your bougainvillea is ready to be placed in direct sunshine, you could end up with nothing but a dead plant.
Keep the cutting within 65–75 °F (18–24 °C)
The plant’s exposure to extreme temperatures should be limited throughout this period. Bring it indoors in the afternoon and at night when the sun sets to avoid overheating.
- Even if the temperature swings are generally small, rapid temperature changes can have a detrimental effect on young cuttings.
- You’ll be most comfy with Bougainvillea if it’s the same temperature. As a result, storing it within your house is usually a good idea.
Establish the cutting in its new location by removing it.
Gently tap the outside of the pot to loosen the compacted soil. The cutting should be held securely between the fingers of your other hand as you slowly lift the pot onto your palm. Now that your bougainvillea has matured, you may place it in a pot or flowerbed and watch it develop.
- In the spring or summer, plant your bougainvillea so that it has time to grow before winter hits.
- To allow your cutting plenty of room to spread out, make sure the container or plot it’s in is at least two times the size of the growing root system.
- Bougainvillea’s roots don’t take kindly to being disturbed after they’ve been established. If you plan on replanting a shrub that is already established, it may be advisable to buy a new one.
How do I cultivate and propagate bougainvillea?
It is not easy to grow and successfully propagate bougainvillea in the home, but here is how it’s done.